Genre: Adventure, RPG, Indie
System: Steam (Windows) (Also available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox & PlayStation)
Developers | Publishers: Alientrap | Whitethorn Games, Whisper Games
Controller Support: Full
Price: US $17.99 | UK £15.49 | EU € 15,11
Release Date: USA December 9th, 2021 (EU December 27th, 2021)
Review code used, with many thanks to Indie Bros, on behalf of Alientrap & Whitethorn Games.
Wytchwood is a crafting adventure game that has been developed by Alientrap and published by Whitethorn Games. Let’s get crafting and brew some potions, cue the black cat and broomstick!
The Witch of Wytchwood
Wytchwood is set in a land of gothic fables and fairytales. You play the role of an old helmet wearing witch who lives in a house located in a swamp. She spends her days pottering in the garden and sleeping in her chair. Until one day, she is rudely interrupted by a talking Goat. After the witch finds her Grimoire (book of important craftable recipes) and her tool belt, she heads outside to see what the pesky goat wants.
The goat tells the witch they agreed on a deal and signed a contract to find twelve wicked souls to release a young maiden from her deep sleep. Unfortunately, the witch remembers nothing of the deal the goat says they set up. She reluctantly ventures into the forest to find the lost souls.
Explore a Strange Countryside
So your adventure begins as the old witch of the woods explores a strange countryside, collects magic ingredients, brew sorcerous spells, and pass judgment upon a capricious cast of characters.
Along the way, you’ll pass through forests, swamps, farmlands and even a hospital for the sick in your quest to find the lost souls. You’ll collect many different resources and find new spells for your Grimoire. Craft new spells using bizarre ingredients such as toxic toadstools, newt’s eye, and bottled fear.
Crafting and the Witches Eye
Crafting couldn’t be any simpler than it is in Wytchwood. It is on the go crafting without the need for a workbench, like craft’n Go. Once you have the ingredients, find the item you want to craft in the Grimimore, press the button, and craft the item.
If you don’t have the items you need, you can check where you might find them by highlighting the spell in the Grimoire and highlighting the missing item; you get a clue to the area it might be in. It’s a great crafting system without running back to a work branch to craft what you might need. There are plenty of resources to collect in all the game areas. The need for more potent magic will require more rare ingredients, which ties into the exploration in the game.
You can use the witches eye, a magical item that makes a short description appears when you highlight an item or NPC in the game. The witches eye works well as a tool especially, as it’s helped me out a few times when I got lost and wasn’t sure what to do next. Each area in the game leads off a hub so you can move about from different areas by going through a magical portal, it is not quite fast travel but it does the job.
There isn’t a tutorial, but it’s unnecessary as it is a game about exploring. However, you have a journal in the menu, and all the quests you undertake are listed there. They can also be pinned to the top right of the screen so you can keep track.
There are many folk and animals to discover and complete quests for, from simple fetch quests to brewing a new potion for someone. I met a young maiden who awaits the return of her lost love, a big bear who loves nothing more than to knock some heads together.
It’s like playing a fairy tale or a fable of old as you are never quite sure what is awaiting you around the corner as each area contains unique critters, plants and monsters. There is excitement, curiosity and wonder around every corner.
Visuals and Controls
Visually Wytchwood is stunning to look at, especially in the forest where all the vibrant colours pop out of the screen. Each area is a joy to behold. They all have distinct looks, from the sunny forest to the gloomy swamp and snowy mountaintops. The music is great, and it and the sound effects all gel well with the gameplay to draw you into the witches world.
I played the game with a controller and the controls felt very intuitive and responsive. The game ran well on my laptop without any problem.
If crafting, exploring and lots of humour are what you look for in a game, then Wytchwood is the game for you. I’ve certainly enjoyed my playthrough of the game. The story is interesting, the characters are cutesy, dark, and grotesque with humour sprinkled in for good measure and fantastic graphics to top it all off. Wytchwood is definitely one of my games of the year and it receives our highest score.
Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up